Ice-fever in the Netherlands: Dutch set skating records and host marathon
This week, two Dutch skaters set a new world record for distance skated on natuurijs in one hour, both completing over 30 kilometres each in just 60 minutes, while 150 took part in the Netherlands’ first natuurijs marathon of the season in Friesland.
The Netherlands goes skating-mad as temperatures dip below zero
As anyone who has spent any significant time in the Netherlands would know, the Dutch have a pretty serious obsession with ice skating. This becomes exceptionally apparent when, every winter as the temperature drops, they immediately start wondering when they’ll be able to don their skates and take to the natuurijs (“natural ice”, or water than has frozen naturally and isn’t an artificial ice rink).
This week, as temperatures dipped to well below freezing across the Netherlands, the Dutchies finally had their chance - and boy, did they make the most of it!
Mossinkoff and Vreugdenhil set new world records on natuurijs
On Tuesday, two Dutch skaters - Femke Mossinkoff and Bert Vreugdenhil - took to the ice and set a new world record for distance skated on natuurijs in one hour. During the world record attempt, Mossinkoff - who was become the first woman to set a so-called "hour record on natuurijs" - skated a total of 32,176 kilometres in Ammestol, a small village south of Gouda.
Meanwhile, over in Winterswijk - a city near the Dutch-German border - Vreugdenhil skated 36,717 kilometres in an hour, breaking the record of 32,660 kilometres set in 1949 by another Dutchman, Marius Strijbis.
Rink in Friesland hosts first natuurijs marathon of the season
But that wasn’t the only notable ice-related event in the Netherlands this week! On Wednesday evening, the country hosted its first marathon on natuurijs of the season, where women completed 70 laps and men 100 in Burgum, Friesland.
The race was confirmed after an ice thickness of three centimetres was measured on Wednesday afternoon, with almost 150 men and women signing up to take part. Maaike Varweij took the win in the women’s race, while Gary Hekman finished first in the men’s event.